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    The United States Defence Secretary, Mr. Melvin Laird, on Monday (July 12) began two day?

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    The United States Defence Secretary, Mr. Melvin Laird, on Monday (July 12) began two day defence talks in Seoul with South Korean Defence Minister Nae-hyuk Jung. The two men are expected to discus American treaty agreements with South Korea, and plans for the modernisation of their armed forces.

    Mr. Laird arrived at Kimpo airport on Sunday (11 July), and immediately visited American and South Korean troop positions below the demilitarized zone.

    SYNOPSIS: Immediately after arriving in South Korea in Sunday, the United States Defence Secretary, Mr. Melvin Lair travelled by helicopter to visit troop positions along the edge of the demilitarized zone. Mr. Laird was in the country for talks on Monday and tuesday with the South Korean President and the defence Minister.

    His visit was to the Headquarters of the 2nd Infantry Division, situated just below the western sector of the demilitarized zone. There, he watched as artillerymen put on a demonstration with the heavy guns lined up on the border with the north. This division represents the last Americans remaining along the 151 mile zone border. South Korean troops have taken over much of the US Army's forme role following an armed forces cut-back earlier this year. There are now 43,000 American servicemen left in the country.

    Later, Mr. Laird was shown an observation post. He used binoculars to look into North Korea across the wire fence marking the southern boundary of the demilitarized zone.

    Following his talks of Monday with South Korean President Chung Hee Park, Mr. Laird on Tuesday met Defence Minister Jung. Officials said the talks were expected to cover the American policy towards Taiwan, and the reversion of Okinawa to Japanese sovereignty next year. Also on the agenda were plans to modernise South Korea's 600,000 strong armed forces to make up for the US troop reduction

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